Tashi Wangmo, Thimphu
About 130 tour guides of the Guide Association of Bhutan (GAB) led a cleaning campaign at the capital city, Thimphu, with a theme ‘towards a clean and green Thimphu’ yesterday.
The Chairman of GAB, Garab Dorji, said that they had organized numerous cleaning campaigns across many places in the past. However, this year they have decided to clean the Hongkong market area since it is considered to be one of the dirtiest places in the capital. Moreover, the GAB head office is also located in the area.
“Where we live and work must be clean, well organized and safe,” he said, adding that GAB will carry out regular cleaning campaigns every month and a massive campaign every four months”. He also said that the thromde has been working hard in keeping the town clean, however, due to the lack of manpower it is not possible for the thromde to keep the city clean and green.
“GAB’s initiative is to bring the people forward, especially the shopkeepers, hoteliers and the entire citizen to come forward in making their own premises a better place to work and live,” he added.
The association, including other volunteers, collected two truckloads of waste around the Hongkong market. “We are looking forward to see a clean Hongkong market materialize one day,” he said, adding that if Civil Service Organitions (CSO) and other stakeholders also take similar inirtiatives at their office premises and adopt the area, the target can be reached.
He added that the people are well aware about the initiatives’s purposes, due to advocacies created by the government and other stakeholders. “However, they do not do anything and wait for somebody to take the lead.”
“There is a law but people hardly implement it,” he said.
Sithar, one of Bhutan’s first guides, said communities must be made to feel guilty by conducting such campaigns. “We hope that individuals start taking their own responsibilities by learning through such initiatives being carried,”he said, adding that the “stick” should be used. “Look at the Centenary Farmers’ Market (CFM). BAFRA started imposing fines and today we have a world class Farmers Market,” he said.
The cleaning campaign was funded by the Tourism Council of Bhutan.